English as a Second Language Cognate

Addressing the Needs of ELL Children in Regular Classrooms

The term Cognate is used here to describe a prescribed program of study leading to skill acquisition in the area of ESL. It is used to avoid any possibility that this program may be confused with an academic degree or a state-issued teaching certificate or an endorsement in ESL which requires a passing score on a PRAXIS exam.


The Cognate called “Addressing the Needs of ELL Children in Regular Classrooms” is a result of the feedback from teachers, administrators, and school districts, who shared that their schools are in great need teachers in all teaching areas who could better serve non-English speaking children and families. According to the Department of Education, Kentucky is a state in which “EVERY TEACHER IS AN ESL TEACHER”. Hence, the responsibility for teaching ESL children rests both with regular classroom teachers and teachers assigned to work specifically with ESL students.

School personnel and administrators are in need of teachers who can show evidence of their ability to successfully meet the needs of non-English speaking children and their families and who further can infuse this knowledge into their everyday lessons so that achievement gaps can be closed. The cognate will provide teachers with needed knowledge and a “Georgetown College Cognate Certificate” listing the recipients’ areas of expertise in teaching ELL children.

Connection to Georgetown College’s Graduate Program

Many teachers seeking their MATL (Masters in Teacher Leadership) or additional credit hours for professional development or certificate reinstatement are not interested in teaching certificates or endorsements. Instead, they are at a point in their life where they are able to identify areas of growth for their classroom needs. Therefore, for many graduate students, earning an ESL Cognate would provide the opportunity to use it in place of the electives in the Teacher Leader MA program or to fill hours with content that will help them gain much needed skills.

Cognate Courses

  • ESL 578  ESL for Mainstream Teachers  3 hours
  • EDU 580  ESL Teaching Methods and Techniques  3 hours
  • EDU 581  ESL Assessment and Culture  3 hours
  • EDU 587  Communicating with Immigrants  3 hours
  • Note: Courses will not need to be taken in sequence except for EDU 595 which will be taken as the last course
Curriculum Contract

Program Director

Dr. Christel Broady



© 2014 Georgetown College • 400 East College Street, Georgetown, KY 40324 • 1-800-788-9985

Georgetown College admits students of any race, color and national or ethnic origin.